October, 1969, several Sauk and Columbia county amateurs conceived the idea of an area amateur radio club. Among the originators of the idea were: Ken Ebneter, K9GSC (then ARRL Section Manager of Wisconsin), Don Evenson, K9JYX, Harv Hamer, K9YHO and Jim Romelfanger, K9PKQ.
And the ball started rolling: The organizational meeting was held in mid-October, 1969 at the Sauk County Courthouse basement meeting room with about twenty area hams present. An election of temporary officers and exectuives was held. The temporary officers elected were: President, Harv Hamer, K9YHO of Baraboo; Vice-President, Gerry von Klein, WA9GYF of Reedsburg; Secretary/Treasurer, Jim Romelfanger, K9PKQ of Baraboo; and Executive Committee members Bob Garske, K9JMP from Poynette and Tom Luck, WN9BPS from Prairie du Sac.
A meeting of this group, with the absence of K9JMP, was held October 27, 1969, at the QTH of K9YHO to draw up a proposed Constitution and By-Laws for vote by the membership. Also discussed by the committee were a number of proposed names for the new club.
At the regular November meeting, items discussed and voted on were the Constitution and By-Laws and a club name. The proposed Constitution and By-Laws drawn up by the Executive Committee were first discussed, then slightly modified. A vote was then taken and the Constitution and By-Laws were formally adopted.
The December, 1969 meeting brought the club’s first election of regular officers, to fill the term from January 1 to December 31, 1970. Elected were: President, Harv Hamer, K9YHO of Baraboo; Vice-President, Ken Ebneter, K9GSC of Portage; and Secretary/Treasurer, Jim Romelfanger of Baraboo.
At the December meeting, it was announced that incorporation proceedings had begun and the papers were being processed. A location for a series of Novice classes had been found at the Wisconsin Power and Light Company and a starting date was set. Total club membership in December, 1969, was 20.
A bank account for the club’s treasury had been setup at the Baraboo National Bank, and, as a public service on the part of the Bank, no service charge was levied on the club’s account.
The club’s newsletter was named the “Yellow Thunder Smoke Signals”. This later became the “Badger State Smoke Signals”.